“Distressed Baby” Mom Sells Memoir
Deanna Fei (A Thread of Sky), who inadvertently became the subject of national attention after AOL CEO Tim Armstrong cited the premature birth of her daughter as the reason for increasing the cost of the company’s healthcare plan, sold a memoir to Bloomsbury. Nancy Miller took world rights to Girl in Glass from Lisa Bankoff at ICM. The book, Bloomsbury said, will be a “brave” account of the “mother-child bond” exploring the fourth months’ premature birth of the author’s daughter, and the ensuing controversy that erupted after Armstrong (who referenced two costly medical procedures involving “distressed babies”) tied the event to his cutting back employee benefits.
Thomas Gets Seven Figures From Harlequin
In another seven-figure deal coming out of Harlequin (see Deals, Feb. 24), the publisher’s HQN imprint signed bestselling author Jodi Thomas to a hefty multi-title agreement for six books and two novellas. The titles will comprise a new Texas-set contemporary romance series. Harlequin’s Margaret Marbury acquired world rights from Gail Fortune at the Talbot Fortune Agency. The new series, Ransom Canyon, will launch in fall 2015, and executive editor Susan Swinwood will be editing. Thomas (the pen name of Jodi Koumalats) is known for historical romances set in the Lone Star State; she’s written over 35 novels and, in 2006, was inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.
Comedian Bee Gets into Middle-Grade Game
Samantha Bee, a Daily Show correspondent and memoirist (2010’s I Know I Am, but What Are You?), sold a middle-grade novel to Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers. Wesley Adams took North American rights to the currently untitled comedic work from agent Jay Mandel at William Morris Endeavor. The novel follows 12-year-old Peanut Beardsley, who is about to make a shocking discovery about her childhood. FSG said that the New York City–set work is “gritty and hilarious” as it explores “friendship, family, and forgiveness.” The book is currently scheduled for spring 2016.
Putnam Goes ‘Straight’ With Wisniewski
At G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Liz Stein took North American rights to Mark Wisniewski’s novel Straightaway. Noah Ballard at the Emma Sweeney Agency represented the author, and the book is due out in winter 2015. The novel weaves together the stories of two desperate people: an African-American man at Rikers Island who’s just been charged with murder, and a female jockey in upstate New York who controls a crucial piece of evidence in his case. Putnam said the work is “infused with moral dilemmas and racial tension.”
Goodfellow Shares ‘Secrets’ With Polis
For his recently launched digital-first publishing house, Polis Books, Jason Pinter bought North American rights to Richard Goodfellow’s debut thriller, Collector of Secrets. Jennifer Weltz at Jean V. Naggar brokered the two-book deal with Pinter. In Secrets, an English teacher working in Japan is led on a chase through the country after finding an ancient diary. Pinter described the novel, which is scheduled for January 2015 (in paperback and digital), as “Barry Eisler meets The Firm, with a little North by Northwest mixed in.”
Eisenhower Jr. on Sherman, Posthumously
At NAL, Brent Howard acquired world rights to John S.D. Eisenhower’s posthumous book, American General: The Life and Times of William Tecumseh Sherman. Eisenhower, who died last year at 91, was an Army general, military historian, and the son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The book, which was sold by agent E.J. McCarthy, is a reassessment of the Union general. McCarthy said it examines “one of the most misunderstood and controversial figures in American history, who was also known as the ‘first modern general.’ ” American General is set for October 2014, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Sherman’s March to the Sea.